Millions of Americans suffer from dementia, and one in ten persons over 65 are affected. Even though there are many different types of dementia, a 2020 study by a Lancet commission found a number of modifiable risk factors that when combined account for about 40% of dementia cases globally.

According to Judith Heidebrink, M.D., a neurologist at University of Michigan Health and co-leader of the Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center’s Clinical Core, this suggests that many dementia cases may be avoided or postponed by leading a healthy lifestyle.

Heidebrink is joined by fellow neurologist and centre director Henry Paulson, M.D., who uses the Lancet findings as a springboard to discuss strategies for lowering your risk of dementia and preserving brain health throughout your lifetime.

Monitor your blood pressure.

Heidebrink: By midlife (around age 40), strive for a systolic blood pressure of 130 mm Hg or less. Studies have indicated that improved blood pressure management in middle age lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke as well as cognitive decline and dementia.

Keep your ears safe

Paulson: To lower your risk of hearing loss, always wear ear protection while you’re near loud noises. When necessary, wear hearing aids as well. According to a recent study, older persons with newly diagnosed hearing loss who acquire a hearing aid have a decreased three-year chance of developing dementia.

Encourage initiatives to lower air pollution

Heidebrink: An increasing body of research relates dementia and cognitive decline to air pollution, which includes gases and particulates released by industry and automobiles. Positively, long-term increases in air quality seem to lower dementia risk.

Avoid brain trauma

Paulson: Normal brain function can be interfered with by physical brain damage, such as traumatic brain injury. Wear seat belts in vehicles, wear the appropriate safety gear when riding a bike or participating in contact sports, and consult a doctor straight away if you think you may have suffered a concussion or other traumatic brain injury.

Restrict alcohol consumption and abstain from smoking Heidebrink

It has long been established that excessive alcohol consumption raises the risk of dementia and causes brain damage. It seems safest to limit alcohol consumption to one drink each day. Dementia risk is also increased by tobacco use. Even at a later age, quitting smoking can help lower the risk.

Maintain mental focus

Paulson: The risk of dementia is lower in people with more years of formal education than in people with fewer years of education. This is due to the fact that maintaining cognitive engagement with your brain promotes brain health. Taking a class at your local college or online, or pushing your intellect with puzzles, games, or a new pastime, are some ways to keep your mind active. Maintaining relationships with friends and family is beneficial since socialising with people stimulates your brain.

Eat a heart-healthy diet and continue to exercise frequently throughout your life.

Paulson: “If it’s good for your heart, it’s good for your brain” is a useful maxim. Consuming a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats, such as the Mediterranean diet, can help people stay within a healthy weight range and reduce their chance of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and high cholesterol—all of which have been linked to dementia in later life.

ALSO READ: The Distinctions Between Alzheimer’s and Dementia (

150 minutes a week of moderate-to-intense physical activity is the recommended amount of exercise to maintain good cardiovascular health and prevent dementia.

People frequently overlook the benefits of basic aerobic exercise on the brain. Three times a week, take a vigourous walk or spend some time on a stationary bike to improve brain function. Additionally, it benefits your body.

Continue to follow a healthy sleep schedule

Heidebrink: Sleep has numerous mental health benefits. It allows the brain to consolidate memories and improves the capacity to pick up new abilities. According to recent study, there may be a connection between sleep disorders like sleep apnea and a higher risk of dementia. Sleeping well enough at night may help lower your risk.

SEE ALSO: Are you misinformed about Alzheimer’s disease? (

Continue to interact socially

Paulson: Research indicates that maintaining an active social life may benefit brain function and potentially lower the risk of dementia. Plan frequent get-togethers with friends and family to maintain social ties, or decide on a worthwhile social activity like volunteering or joining a community club.

Attend to your mental well-being

Heidebrink: Research has shown a connection between depression in the past and dementia in later life. Keeping up with hobbies and social activities can help prevent depression, and exercising can help lower stress. Make sure you talk to your healthcare professional about any signs of sadness, anxiety, or any other mental health issues you may be experiencing.

It is noteworthy that a number of dementia risk factors disproportionately impact ethnic minorities.

Heidebrink stated, “We should take steps as a society to ensure that everyone has equitable access to an environment and resources that promote brain health, in addition to taking steps as individuals to decrease our own dementia risk.”


The information on this website is presented for educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the diagnosis, treatment, or advice of a qualified, licensed medical professional. The facts presented are offered as information only, not medical advice, and in no way should anyone infer that we are practicing medicine. Seek the advice of a medical professional for proper application of this material to any specific situation.

No statement on this website has been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Any product mentioned or described on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. We recommend that you do your own independent research before purchasing anything.

If you purchase anything through a link in this email or website, you should assume that we have an affiliate relationship with the company providing the product or service that you purchase, and that we will be paid in some way.

You may also Like

Subscribe to Newsletter

Enter your email address to register to our newsletter subscription! 

© 2024 Health Wellness Pro. All rights reserved.